Rennie Collection showcases Turner Prize–nominated artists Glenn Brown and Rebecca Warren
Yesterday, I dropped by the opening of the Glenn Brown + Rebecca Warren Show at the Rennie Collection at Wing Sang in Chinatown.
Both British artists have been nominated for the Turner Prize for their imaginative work that overturns artistic traditions.
The heritage building's owner, Bob Rennie, has one of the largest private contemporary art collections in Western Canada—with a fair number of the pieces linked to themes of social injustice. That was certainly on display when the gallery was launched in 2009 with an exhibit of work by Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum.
To the delight of many at yesterday's opening, including me, Rennie had a crew of student interns on hand to help explain each of the pieces.
Visual-arts criticism will probably never be my forté, but I was impressed by Brown's dazzling colours and intense brush strokes.
One of his works, 17 Seconds, harkened to the average length of a male orgasm, which created more than a few smiles.
Another of Brown's pieces mocked the Catholic Church's use of art to spread its message through the ages.
Warren's clay sculptures demonstrated the female body in a mangled form. One of the students explained that this was a sharp contrast to usual representations in sculpture. Also included was Warren's Cube—an enormous bronze block—that caused me to think about how art is formed from metal or rock.
It was the first time these two artists' work was shown in one exhibition. And yes, Rennie owns every single piece.